Saudi companies with five or less employees exempt from new expat fees

Saudi businesses with 5 or less employees will be exempt from the new expat levy, according to the kingdom’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development.

The new tax will be effective from January 1, 2018 with companies to pay fees relating to the number of expat employees they have.

The ministry explained, companies with 9 expat employees will pay for each expat above the threshold (5), granted the owner is a full time employee.

The ministry also added that expats working in branch offices of general recruitments firms and recruitment offices for hiring domestic help will also be exempt. Additionally, the tax will not apply to spouses of Saudi citizens, citizens of GCC countries and non-Saudi children of Saudi women.

Officials said that those eligible for the tax would have to pay on the issuance or renewal of their work permit.

The ministry confirmed that companies with a Saudi staff of 50% or more would pay SAR 300 ($80) per month per expatriate worker in 2018. Companies with more expatriates than Saudis will pay SAR 400 ($107) for the year – rising to SAR 500 ($133) and SAR 600 ($160), respectively and in 2020 it will reach SAR 700 ($187) and SAR 800 ($213), respectively.